The WAC Track & Field Championships kick into high gear Friday with a full day of action. Louisiana Tech is the favorite, but for Boise State to capture the WAC Commissioner's Cup, the Bronco women may need to win. Here's what needs to happen in Fresno.
With the 2006-07 Western Athletic Conference Commissioner's
Cup race coming down to the wire, we're breaking down this weekend's women's WAC
Track & Field meet.
is projected to win the cup by five points.
We've pointed out that for Boise
State to wrest the Cup away, the Boise
State men must win the WAC
this weekend and the women must defeat Nevada
by three places. The Nevada
softball team lost last night as expected (4-0 to New Mexico State). They play #7 seed Louisiana Tech today. If Nevada
wins, they will score the projected number of points in that event. A loss by the Wolf Pack would subtract 1 ½
points from their total.
Here are the projected women's team scores. Boise
State must find 34 points to win
Here is this weekend's schedule for the WAC
Track & Field Championships in Fresno:
Tech has the top three seeds (Latonia Wilson, Lasadies McClain and Shannon
State's Amber Peterson is 4th,
followed by Nevada's Shaina
Wright, Tech's Sophia Jackson and Rayna White of Fresno
State in a tie, Tech's Rakeisha
Green and Boise State's
If Boise State
is to somehow defeat Louisiana Tech, the Lady Bulldogs cannot dominate the
sprints the way they are expected to.
Looking at the track meet from a Commissioner's Cup viewpoint, Bronco
fans are also pulling for Idaho, Utah
State and Hawai'i
to defeat Nevada. In the 100, then, Amber Peterson needs to
finish second or third—Wilson has
nearly half a second on the rest of the field.
Olivetti is only 6/100th's of a second behind Wright of
Nevada and is not projected to score.
Obviously, if Olivetti can finish ahead of Wright it would be huge. Not only would she score points for her team,
but she would also take a point or two away from Nevada. This is a key race for the Bronco women.
200—Wilson, McClain, Williams and Jackson are 1-2-3-4 in
this one. Olivetti is the 5th
seed in the 200, and must defeat one or more of those Techster's for Boise
State to have any kind of shot at
the WAC title. The Broncos also might need Peterson of Utah State (#6 seed) to sneak in and beat one of the Tech runners. Wright is tied for #6 and a finish outside
the top eight would cost the Wolf Pack two points. Christina Lopez of Fresno
State is eighth seed.
400—This is Boise State's
best chance to beat Tech. There are
three Bulldog runners in the top eight, and three Broncos. Nina Gilbert of Tech is the top seed,
followed by Peterson of Utah State, Nerisha Phillip of Boise State, Tech's
Kamelia Story, Boise State's Paige Olivetti and Kayleen McDowell, Fresno State's Renee Winston and Louisiana Tech's Miriam Barnes. Boise
State is projected to get 13 points
to 16 for Tech. The Broncos need to
score heavily here, probably three of the top five places. Peterson needs to do well to give the Aggies
a chance to beat Nevada, another
important result for Boise State.
800—Kali Baker of Nevada
is the favorite by two seconds. Utah
State's Amy Egan is the #2 seed, followed by Boise State's Kayleen McDowell,
Utah State's Jennie Twitchell, Zinzi Evans of Fresno State, Beth Sandoval of
New Mexico State and Nevada's LaNaya Wattree and Hannah Balkenbush. Mark the 800 meters as another key race. This is one of Nevada's
State must do well but not good
enough to finish ahead of Boise State. The Broncos are only projected to score eight
more points than the Aggies in the team race.
Thus, Kayleen McDowell needs to run the race of her life. She is coming off a great performance in the
Oregon Twilight in which she qualified for the NCAA Regionals. McDowell needs a top two finish here. Baker will likely finish in the top three,
but Nevada must score no more
than 10 points in this event.
1,500—Becky Guyette of Boise
State has been running well as she
closes out her Bronco career. She is the
fourth seed in the 1,500. Nevada's
Charlotte Schonbeck is top seed, followed closely by Utah
State's Twitchell. USU's
Stacie Lifferth is 3rd, with Idaho's
Dee Olson in fifth. Boise
State's Breanna Sande is sixth,
followed by Nevada senior Kali
Baker and Utah State's
Caroline Berry. New
Beth Sandoval has a chance to score points by beating either Baker or Berry—either
result would greatly help Boise State. Sande must come through here with more than 3
points. Guyette is one of the top WAC
performers in the 1,500, 5000 & 10,000—it would be grueling to run all
three and here is where the depth of the Bronco team hurts them. Boise
State needs two runners to score in
this event. It will be interesting to
see what Coach Mike Maynard does here.
If Guyette skips this in favor of the two longer distances, Sande would
have to win the 1,500, a tall order since she's six seconds behind
Schonbeck. The Broncos have little or no
chance to win the team title if Nevada
and Utah State
score heavy here, and no chance to win the Commissioner's Cup by
extension. The decision by Maynard and
the subsequent performance by the Bronco woman or women in the 1,500 are
5,000—As mentioned, Becky Guyette is the top seed in the
5,000 (by ten seconds). Sande is the #2
seed by 9 seconds over Utah State's
Caroline Berry. You can see that the
plot thickens. If Guyette runs the 1,500
to help Boise State's
team chances, she has to also run the 5,000 to get the 10 projected
points. Simply put, Boise
State must score 18 points in this
event—anything else would be a serious blow to their title hopes. Nevada's
Amanda Moreno is the fourth seed, followed by Idaho's
Mandy Macalister, New Mexico State's
Ann Gagliardi, Idaho's Rhea
Richter and Fresno State's
Meridith Hawkins. The runner Bronco fans
are pulling for is Gagliardi. New
Mexico State has
zero chance of winning the team title, but if she can defeat Moreno
or Macalister, it would keep both Nevada
and Idaho from beating the Bronco
women in the team score.
10,000—Guyette is the favorite here by eight seconds. The Idaho
trio of Macalister, Olson and Melissa McFadden is 3-4-5, followed by Fresno
State's Jennifer Hernandez and Boise
State's Meadow Braden. Again, it would severely damage Boise
State's team hopes if Guyette
skipped the 10,000. What better way to
go out than to win the 5,000, 10,000 and finish strong in the1,500? Her title would be "Iron Woman" if she can do
it. Braden is 33 seconds behind
Hernandez. There have only been six
women to run the distance this year and likely Idaho
and Utah State
will have more performers entered. In a
championship meet, depth is important, and someone besides Guyette will have to
step up in the 10,000. Ideally, there
would be 2-3 others that could place high in the 10,000 to give Guyette a
break. That is not the case.
100-meter hurdles—Amber Peterson of Utah State is the
favorite here, followed by Fresno State's Krystina Jackson, Idaho's Heather
Bergland and Christie Gordon, Nevada's Analisa Serrano, Utah State's Ashlee
Cannon, Ashley Land from Nevada and Hawai'i's Thalia Amanakis. Boise
State's Megan Olivetti is the ninth
seed with Idaho freshman Darcy
Collins in 10th. Olivetti has
to score here—she could finish as high as sixth, which would be four more
points than the Broncos are projected to score.
Bronco fans will be pulling for Jackson
here as Fresno has no chance to win
the team title. If Amanakis can get in
and take some points away from Nevada and Utah State, that also would be great
for Boise State.
400-meter hurdles—Peterson is the top seed here as well,
with Barnes of Louisiana Tech and Amanakis close behind. Nevada's
Polly Smith is a distant fourth seed, followed by Fresno
State's Erica McCoy, Idaho's
Molly Burt and Fresno State's
Jackson in a tie for 6th and Nevada's
Rosana Medina the eighth seed. Amanakis could steal points from either Tech or Utah
State with a top two finish. McCoy and Jackson need to finish high ahead
of Nevada and Idaho
here as well.
3,000-meter Steeplechase—Stacie Lifferth of Utah
State is the clear favorite
Bevin Kennelly and Alix Lee-Painter are next and then there's a big drop-off. Nevada's Natalia Jarawka and Christa Avena
are the #4 and #5 seeds, respectively, followed by Chantelle Laan of Hawai'i,
Sandoval of New Mexico State, Fresno State's Meridith Hawkins, Nevada's Mandy
Russ and Fresno State's Marissa McPhail.
The Steeple represents a put up or shut up race for Boise
State. The WAC
champion is able to score points in every event, yet Boise
State has none of the top ten
seeds. The Broncos must be able to place
a runner in the point total. Other than
that, the Broncos are hoping this race goes pretty much as expected. A top five finish by either Laan or Sandoval
would help the Broncos as well.
4 x 100 Relay—The Tech sprinters will likely combine for the
WAC title here. Nevada
is a close second seed over Fresno State,
followed by Utah State,
Boise State, Idaho,
New Mexico State
and Hawai'i. The Broncos are just 14/100th's of
a second out of second. A Boise
State win over Nevada
here would be at least a six-point turnaround.
This is another key race to watch not only for the WAC
Track title but for the Commissioner's Cup.
If Boise State
is to win either, the relay team must defeat Nevada.
4 x 400-meter relay—Tech is the favorite here by 8 ½ seconds
over Boise State. That's a lot of ground to make up. The Bronco women here should just concentrate
on getting clear handoffs and finish in second place. Fresno
State is only three seconds behind
as the #3 seed, and the important thing here is to finish second and get their
8 points. Nevada
is the fourth seed, followed by Utah State, Hawai'i
and New Mexico State. A USU
finish ahead of Nevada would take
one point away from the Wolf Pack.
High Jump—This is one of Hawai'i's
best events. The Rainbow Wahine are
projected to finish 1st, tied for 2nd, 4th and
7th. Emily Sheppard is the
top seed with a jump of 5'10". Mallory
Gilbert and Boise State's
Theodora Xylaki are the #2 seeds at 5'8.75".
Annett Wichmann of Hawai'i
is fourth, followed by Utah State's
Carrie Yost, Idaho's Darcy Collins
and Breeana Chadez, Hawai'i's
Amber Kaufman and Utah State's
Tara Pickett. Here's another opportunity
for Boise State. They need to pick up 34 points on Louisiana
Tech, and the high jump represents an additional four points if Xylaki can
win. In addition to rooting for Xylaki
here, Bronco fans are rooting for Hawai'i. If they finish 2-3-4-5, it would be no
problem, as they would take points away from Utah
State and Idaho.
Pole Vault—One of Idaho's
top events. The Vandal women are already
off to a good start after the heptathlon.
Idaho's Melinda Owen and
K.C. Dahlgren are 1-2, followed by Utah
State's Kat Duhadway. A good result here would probably be for
Duhadway to sneak into the top two. Nevada's
Bree Ann Piva is fourth, followed by Fresno
State's Andrea Greenman and
Samantha Modeste and Hawai'i's
Jessica Trujillo and Samantha Weaver. Boise
State's Annelise Bertleson is ¼
inch out of the eighth position. Both of
vaulters could beat Piva and that would be a great result. Bertleson really needs seventh place or
better since the Broncos did not have a heptathletes.
Long Jump—Boise State's
Eleni Kafourou either wins or the Broncos can count themselves out of the title
chase. She has 10.5 inches on the second
place jumper. Tech again owns 2-3-4 with Latoya Collins, Amber
Metoyer and Christiana Tupper. Nevada's
Ashley Land is fifth, followed by Emily Sheppard and Annett Wichmann from Hawai'i
and Nevada's Corinne
Kuklovsky. So you have a situation where
is projected to get 10 points and yet the competition will get more
points. If Kafourou doesn't win, it will
mean that a Tech jumper did, giving them even more points. Ideally, one of the Rainbow Wahine jumpers
could knock off a Techster, but they're nearly a foot behind. They could sneak in and beat Land, however,
which has Commissioner's Cup implications.
Triple Jump—Kafourou again is the favorite by 10 inches
ahead of Collins and Tupper of Tech.
Nevada's Ashley Mathis is fourth, with teammate Sherena Smith fifth, followed
by New Mexico State's Isabel Chea, Emily Kling of Idaho and Boise State's
Theodora Xylaki. Probably a stretch for
Xylaki to finish much higher, because she's 10 inches behind the Idaho
woman. It would be nice if either Chea
or Kling could beat out a Nevada
jumper, but don't count on it.
Shot Put—Shaterika Allen of Louisiana Tech is the top seed
with a huge lead on Mykael Bothum of Idaho. Meghan Weaver of Hawai'i
is a distant third. The real competition
is for the next spots between fourth seed Katie Richardson of Fresno State,
Inger Appanaitis of Nevada, Hawai'i's Novelle Murray, Phelecia Reynolds of Tech
and Nicole McClure of New Mexico State. Boise
State's Amber Tavares is 10th
and again, if you want to win a championship, you have to score in every
event. Tavares is only two inches out of
Discus—Murray of Hawai'i is the favorite here with Katie
Richardson close behind. Reynolds is
considerably behind those two as the #3 seed.
Weaver of Hawai'i is fourth, followed by teammate Alana Faagai, Idaho's
Bothum, Brittani Daniels of Hawai'i
and Tavares. Tavares could sneak in for
7th, but she has to definitely score.
Hammer—This is one of Boise
State's better events and simply
one that the Broncos need to pile up the points. Annika Hjelm's top throw is 10 feet over
Murray of Hawai'i. Boise
State's Eleni Ypsilanti is third
and definitely can finish second—the Broncos need that. Richardson of Fresno is fourth, followed by
Randi Grimes and Nicole McClure of New Mexico State, Weaver of Hawai'i and Utah
State's Krista Larson. Boise
State senior needs to go out in
style by placing—her top throw is less than four feet out of eighth place. No Nevada
or Tech throwers are in the top ten, so it's time for the Bronco women to let
Javelin—Here is one of Fresno's
better events. Mallory Webb and
Richardson are 1-2, followed by Nevada's
Appanaitis and Megan Lytle, Hawai'i's
Wichmann and Idaho's Kate
Buehler, Anne Barnett and Candace Knuths.
has no throwers in the top ten and the Broncos will really be hurt by